ND Roads Rank #1 in Performance: Report

November 25, 2020
States included in Reason Foundation Report.
Reason Foundation interactive map (see link below) provides details on each state. (Image: Reason Foundation)

Investment in roads and bridges pays off, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), citing the findings of a report published by Reason Foundation. The group’s 25th Annual Highway Report ranked North Dakota’s highway system first in the nation in overall performance and cost-effectiveness.

“This report recognizes the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s extraordinary efforts in maintaining and preserving our roads,” said NDDOT director Bill Panos in a prepared statement. “The finding of this year’s report illustrates that preserving roads early is a good investment. Thanks to the Governor and state Legislature, we have the ability to make these essential infrastructure investments.

“The Reason Foundation report is a reflection of the Department’s efforts to put as much of its revenues as possible onto the roads and bridges,” says Panos. “It also shows that there is more work to do as we need to focus on state bridges and make timely investments in many areas.”

In the overall rankings of state highway performance and cost-effectiveness, the report finds North Dakota, Missouri, and Kansas have the nation’s best state-owned road systems. In terms of return on investment, New Jersey, Alaska, Delaware, and Massachusetts have the worst-performing state highway systems, the study finds.

Of the nation’s most populous states, Ohio, North Carolina (which manages the largest state-owned highway system), and Texas (with the second-largest amount of state mileage), are doing the best job of combining road performance and cost-effectiveness, according to the report. New York, California, and Florida are in the bottom 10 overall.

The report finds the general quality and safety of the nation’s highways has incrementally improved as spending on state-owned roads increased by 9 percent, up to $151.8 billion, since the previous report. Of the report’s nine categories focused on performance, including structurally deficient bridges and traffic congestion, the country made incremental progress in seven of them.

However, the pavement condition of the nation’s urban Interstate system worsened slightly. Over a quarter of the urban Interstate mileage in poor condition is in just three states: California, New York, and Wyoming.

The Reason Foundation’s Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems analyzes the condition, performance and cost effectiveness including administrative overhead of the state-owned road networks and bridges.

Source: NDDOT, Reason Foundation